Other Tips & Logistics
Itinerary Management and Planning
Several companies have products that allow you to automatically (via confirmation message processing or direct booking) and manually store together your booking information. Both paid and free packages exist with varying options. In no particular order, a subset is as follows:
TravelMath is a website that promises to provide information on various logistical questions encountered in planning a trip, including timing, travel distances, airport information, and travel cost calculation.
U.S. citizens should visit the U.S. Department of State website to obtain the most accurate and up to date information on passports. Non-U.S. citizens should consult their home government for information on passports.
Lost or Stolen Passports
For lost or stolen passports, please contact the nearest consulate for specific instructions and procedures immediately: List of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions. Procedures vary from country to country and may involve filing police reports and other paperwork. Always keep a copy of your passport separately and leave another copy at home!
Visas & Entry Requirements: If you are travelling with a Caltech-arranged program, direct any questions about paperwork to the Fellowships Advising and Study Abroad Office. If you are travelling independently, verify far in advance that you will have all necessary visas or items for your travel. Travel agents may or may not assist with those issues so it is always best to research independently in advance just in case.
The U.S. Department of State provides a registry of its embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions abroad. We advise all travelers to register with S.T.E.P (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Entry to foreign countries may be made more smooth by producing proof of travel plans showing the intent to leave at the end of your stay. Some countries may also require demonstration of financial wherewithal; simply showing current credit cards may suffice in some situations, but in other cases it may be necessary to show a current bank statement demonstrating the availability of funds.
TSA (Transportation Security Administration): Make sure you are aware of any up to date rules or requirements for flight travel, such as packing and ID requirements.
- Transgender Passengers: TSA recognizes the concerns that some members of the transgender community may have with certain security screening procedures at the nation's security checkpoints. Read more HERE.
Local Matters To Consider & Prepare For
- Phones: International phone calls can be difficult. See CountryCodes.com for more information on this. Also check if your phone company has an international plan, if you need to arrange for a SIM card, or of you need to download calling apps in advance. Keep in mind most apps may be limited to Wi-Fi access so plan for that accordingly, such as possibly arranging for portable Wi-Fi router in advance while making sure it will work in the country you are travelling to.
- Currency Converter
- How to Choose Travel Power Adapters
- Useful Travel Apps:
- Google Translate, Duolingo, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, WhatsApp (messaging app using Internet connection), Happy Cow (Vegan & Vegetarian restaurant guide), Uber, TripIt (travel plans organizer), OpenRice (The "Yelp of Asia"), Trail Wallet (travel expense tracker)
- Pay Less Than the Passenger Next to You (April 2007, Budget Travel Online) - Surprisingly low fares for certain train routes. (Article valid at time of publishing.)
- Sustainable Tourism Needs To Be The New Normal. Here's Why (September 27, 2019, Forbes). Thoughts and actions from several global leaders in the travel and tourism industry on sustainability.
- 6 Ways to Be a More Sustainable Traveler (July 11, 2017, National Geographic).
- How to Volunteer Abroad Ethically (August 13, 2019, Two Wandering Soles Blog).
- Why We Wander- Podcast from the Wandering Scholar. Topics include Overtourism, Study Abroad, Museums, Flight Passes, and many more.
- The Travelers Blueprint- Launched in 2018, a conversational podcast with travelers for travelers.
- You should have been there - Simon Calder, travel correspondent of The Independent and former BBC producer, Mick Webb, discuss the world of travel and delight in travelers' tales.
Study Abroad Programs & Internships
There are also study abroad programs offered outside of FASA. While although they are not approved to transfer credit in for Caltech, these are still great opportunities for personal enrichment and experience. Also, these can be options if you are looking to apply for the Bishop Travel Prize/Fellowship.
- IIE - The IIE program finder to help you explore opportunities. IEE manages more than 200 programs with participants from more than 180 countries.
- IES Abroad - Study Abroad programs and internship opportunities.
- CIEE - College Study Abroad program finder. Explore options based on fields of study or location.
- Come on Out Japan - Come on Out Japan connects college students with fulfilling mentoring and teaching English opportunities in Japan.